House Republicans Already Embarrassed Themselves

Photo by Kendall Hoopes:

In a historic embarrassment for a major political party, the House Republicans have officially failed to choose a Speaker of the House. The failure, which occurred earlier this Tuesday, saw the most likely choice, Kevin McCarthy (R-California), bringing a vote to the floor for the speakership only to lose the vote three times.

The historic nature of this moment can’t be understated. The last time a party’s chosen candidate lost was a hundred years ago. The rarity of a party rejecting their most likely candidate is so extreme that it suggests a fundamentally weak party leadership.

While most of the GOP supported McCarthy, 19 Republicans voted against the California Republicans in the first two rounds, and 20 voted against him during the third round, demonstrating just how ineffective McCarthy is at organizing his base. Say what you will about former Speaker Pelosi, but she has never demonstrated the pathetic lack of control that McCarthy demonstrated today.

While it is extremely unlikely that Democrats will be able to make much of the current Republican dysfunction if the current state of affairs is indicative of how House Republicans will govern for the next several years, Americans can look forward to a petty and ineffective Congress.


Ginni Thomas is Not Happy She Has to Answer Questions


By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Ginni Thomas, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Ginni Thomas is in the news again. This time for being belligerent and entitled before the January 6th committee after they questioned her over texts she sent to Mark Meadows. Said texts encouraged Meadows to overturn the 2020 election and falsely argued that said election was stolen. Thomas’s belligerency and unwillingness to face consequences for her actions is just another example of conservatives presuming that power belongs to them instead of being earned. If anything, Thomas’ response is not surprising, but it is no less concerning.

The report on Thomas, posted by Talking Points Memo, showed that Thomas not only expressed regret that she sent those texts but also was upset that they were released in the first place.

In his cross-examination of Thomas, Committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked her if she was more concerned about the release of the texts than she was about the point of the texts themselves, to which Thomas responded:

“I think it might be a unanimous view of everyone on this call and in this room that I don’t know how many of you would want your texts to become public on the front page of the Washington Post….Certainly I didn’t want my emotional texts to a friend released and made available.” 

Ginni Thomas to the January 6th Committee

It is unsurprising that a woman whose texts went so far as to advocate for “standing firm” against then-President-Elect Joe Biden would also find the release of those texts to be an afront to her position and personhood.

Nevermind that her texts demonstrate a complete disregard for the electoral system or the will of the people. Thomas’ partisan position is what matters to her. It didn’t matter that she admitted she had no evidence that the election was stolen she still believed it and demanded respect for that position.

Throughout her interview, Thomas repeatedly demanded to know if the interview was over, and at one point, she lambasted the Washington Post for coverage surrounding her work for the Heritage Foundation and when questioned about her emails that sought to swing lawmakers in several states to overturn the election, she snapped, blurting out, “Can we agree that the media completely messed this up?”

Nobody should be surprised by Thomas’ disregard for decorum or her presumption that questioning her actions constitutes an insult to her character and dignity. She has operated in a manner that is much like the grifters who propagated the lie that the 2020 election, presuming to be right without having any reason to think so. Ginni Thomas’ conduct, and general behavior is just one more example of conservative arrogance.

Trump’s A Business Failure: His Tax Returns Prove It


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

After years of fighting, drama, and controversy, former President Donald Trump’s tax returns have finally been released. The release of Trump’s returns, authorized by the House Ways and Means Committee, serves as a reminder that Trump’s fog of deception can be overcome with the right leverage and pressure. But more than that, the returns themselves show just how little of Trump’s grandiose business acumen was tied to reality.

The infamous fight over Trump’s tax returns began in 2014 when then-candidate Trump seemingly promised to release his tax returns in an interview with Irish TV. The issue would return in 2016 when NBC’s Chuck Todd where Trump reiterated his desire to release the returns, saying:

“Well, we’re working on that now. I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time, Chuck. Absolutely…”

Then-Candidate Trump to Chuck Todd, 2016.

Trump’s promise to release his tax returns was not solely tied to the 2016 presidential race. In 2011, when Trump was considering a presidential bid, the supposedly successful businessman promised to release his tax returns when “Obama does his birth certificate…”

After he was elected in 2016, Trump made multiple excuses for his refusal to release his tax returns. Among the most ridiculous excuse was his assertion that he was under audit and, therefore, couldn’t release his tax returns. It is worth noting that IRS Commissioner Rettig confirmed that there is no such rule preventing the release of tax returns during an audit in 2019.

It is perhaps unsurprising that Trump would want to keep his returns, especially when it demonstrates that his glorified past was just that, glorified lies. According to The Washington Post:

“The returns show that Trump paid little, if anything, in income taxes compared with his gross income over six years, including the four in which he served as president. Trump lost thousands of dollars in income from 2015 to 2017, largely due to net losses tied to real estate and other businesses. On his 2017 tax return, Trump claimed business expenses and other losses and deductions in excess of $279.5 million, significantly reducing the amount of tax he owed. Those deductions included “helicopter expenses” and foreign taxes paid.That year, he paid $750 in federal income taxes. Due to significant business losses in 2020, Trump paid no taxes.”

Marianna Sotomayor et al., House panel releases Trump tax returns in another setback for former president, The Washington Post, December 30, 2022

The returns also demonstrate that Trump’s claims of giving his presidential salary to charity were, at best, a lie. According to those tax filings, Trump paid very little in charity, and in the case of 2020, the year when much of the economy was upended by Covid-19, he paid nothing at all to charity.

This release of these returns, of course, elicited a strong and angry response from the former president, as he railed against the idea of his tax returns being released, saying, “The Democrats should have never done it, the Supreme Court should have never approved it, and it’s going to lead to horrible things for so many people. The radical, left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”

Regardless of Trump’s threats, his tax returns are public. They once and for all show that there is nothing about Trump’s supposed financial greatness connected with reality in any way. His charitability was a lie. His success was a lie. Everything about his claimed strength in business was a lie. There can be no denying that Trump’s supposed strength in business, which Republicans used as a justification for his presidency, was nothing more than a smoke screen for what they really wanted: a partisan tool in the White House. And we are all paying the price for this lie.

Libs of Tik Tok Calls LGBTQ Community a Cult


By Libs of Tik Tok – Public Domain,

Libs of Tik Tok, perhaps one of the most annoying accounts to spread its presence on the internet, has come back into the news. This time for a horrid interview she conducted with the equally disgusting Tucker Carlson, in which she argued that LGTBQ people are part of an evil cult.

The presence of this infamous account is relatively young. Created by Chaya Raichik, a former real estate agent, the Libs of Tik Tok Twitter account began to post anti-LGTBQ content starting in 2021. Starting in March of that same year, Raichik began campaign to target sex education, particularly involving LGTBQ people, claiming that her targets were groomers. This approach would be the defining approach by Raichik going forward and would be the key framework that would guide most of its work.

After nearly a year of posting anti-LGBTQ content, Raichik had amassed a massive following, restring at a comfortable 1.2 million followers. She received a boost in viewership thanks to an endorsement by Joe Rogan in August of last year, pushing her account to over 900,000 followers, a number that has continued to rise.

Screenshot from Twitter

Much of this content was able to go unmolested and without strong opposition, thanks to Raichik’s anonymity. That would change in April when The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz used publicly available website registration data, which Raichik failed to conceal, along with her real estate agent’s license, to identify the infamous provocateur.

The result was a full profile in a major newspaper and absurd accusations of doxxing, but more than that, Lorenz’s reporting shed a light on the woman who was responsible for extensive amounts of suffering and lies surrounding the LGBTQ community.

Raichik would continue her rampage of anti-LGTQ content, falsely claiming that children’s hospitals were performing hysterectomies on children, which led to threats against Boston’s children’s hospital, including a bomb threat. Other hospitals have also been targeted in similar incidents involving Raichik’s comments.

Needless to say, Raichik’s comments and conduct serve only to abuse LGBTQ people and smear them as a threat to the public. To treat her content as anything but a smear campaign is absurd. Unfortunately, absurdity seems to be all too present these days, and that was on full display when Raichik went on Tucker Carlson.

In a strange and disturbing interview Tuesday, Tucker Carlson welcomed Raichik onto his show, allowing her to portray herself as a superb reporter who speaks the truth, a proposition that merits an eye roll or two.

Carlson was far from a passive interviewer, make no mistake, but it was the moment where Raichik revealed her true self that should draw the most attention. As Carlson pressed Raichik for her view of the supposed spiritual problems of the LGBTQ community, Raichik responded, saying that:

“{the} LGBTQ community has become this cult… It’s extremely poisonous…They’re just evil people, and they’re out to groom kids. They’re recruiting.”

Chaya Raichik to Tucker Carlson, 12/27/2022

That comment alone is a revealing moment. Whereas Raichik has claimed to oppose the grooming of children or supposed pedophilia in public schools, the overt willingness to portray all LGBTQ people as evil is a massive shift in rhetoric.

Far from the faux defense of children that Raichik has previously held to, this shift in rhetoric serves a remarkable change that explicitly denies people their humanity. To suggest something or someone is evil is to deny their ability and right to be treated with respect or credibility. From there, no action against that target group can be opposed as the target’s very dignity as a human being ceases to exist.

If one accepts the framing provided by Raichik is accepted, then violence can be justified. Atrocities, violence, and abuse all become possible. Such a position is intolerable in a pluralistic republic as it justifies the rejection of universal protection under the law and treats subsections of the community as undesirable.

What Raichik has done should not be taken lightly. She has set the tone for violence against LGBTQ people even more so than she previously has. If people are not careful, innocent people could die.

Anti-vaccine Activists Bring Back Easily Preventable Disease

How long are we going to tolerate this?

Photo by Anna Shvets on

If the return of Covid-19 wasn’t bad enough, anti-vaccine activists have made an already ill nation even sicker. A recent report by The Washington Post’s Lena H. Sun shows that increasing anti-vaccine sentiment, primarily among Republicans, has led to a rise in measles cases. Again. 

The outbreak, based in Columbus, Ohio, is yet another example of the self-destructive nature of the anti-vaccine movement, which has been a plague on the American public for years. According to the Post:

“ The Ohio outbreak, which began in November, comes at a time of heightened worry about the public health consequences of anti-vaccine sentiment, a long-standing problem that has led to drops in child immunization rates in pockets across the United States. The pandemic has magnified those concerns because of controversies and politicization around coronavirus vaccines and school vaccine mandates.”

Lena Sun, “Growing vaccine hesitancy fuels measles, chickenpox resurgence in U.S,” December 27th, 2022

The shift in perspective is part of a painfully evident divide. More than a third of parents with children under the age of 18 and 28 percent of American adults now say that they have not vaccinated their kids with the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, according to that same Washington Post report. 

Views on vaccination have also been demonstrably partisan. According to Sun’s report, 44 percent of people who identify as Republican or lean Republican believed that they should have the right to opt out of vaccination requirements. By contrast, 88 percent of Democrats said they support vaccine requirements to attend public schools. The partisan divide is similar to a CBS report on Covid-19 vaccination, which found that 33 percent of Republicans polled would not get the Covid-19 vaccine once it was available to them. Only 10 percent of Democrats said the same. Another poll by NPR found that 47 percent of Trump supporters said they would not get the vaccine once it was available. 

The partisan divide is likely to make attempts to prevent the spread of anti-vaccine propaganda even more difficult, as partisans will be unlikely to listen to figures they see as lying about vaccination and health risks they allege are associated with them. 

Further complicating the situation is a deluge of media outlets such as OAN, whose months-long campaign of conspiratorial rhetoric surrounding Covid-19 vaccines has almost certainly reinforced the distrust anti-vaxxers already had. Combine that with Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter and his unwillingness to deal with far-right propaganda and conspiracy theories, and the media environment is ripe for an antivaccine wave of hysteria. 

Progressive American Subscriptions Coming Out!

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Hello everyone!

Over the last year, I have had the pleasure of seeing more of you join The Progressive American newsletter, and you have been incredibly supportive of my work.

It has been my pleasure to continue writing for you all, and I intend to keep up the work that has made this newsletter an incredible part of my life and career. I thank you all for your incredible support. You make this work worth it all.

However, in recent months I have been sadly informed that I will no longer be a writer for the UIS Observer, where I have worked for nearly a year. The loss of that paper and the revenue it provided means that my financial situation is significantly more complicated.

To address this, I have made the difficult decision to establish a subscription-based system for long-form content going forward. Rest assured, short-form argumentative essays and project updates will remain free, but more long-form analyses will be subscription only.

This decision was not made lightly, and I would not do it unless it was necessary to continue my work here. I understand that not everyone can or is willing to pay for a subscription, but I hope you will continue enjoying the newsletter regardless of your payment status.

If you would like to subscribe, you can find the subscription page which is now up!

Thanks for everything, and Happy Holidays,



After some work on my end, I have figured out a program to give you full transcripts of my show, both on Spotify and YouTube.

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Good afternoon, everyone!

After several weeks of trying to establish an effective way to create transcripts for my show, I have finally succeeded in that endeavor. I am excited to finally introduce The Progressive American podcast and video transcript archive!

From now on, all podcasts and videos will have transcripts released via the newsletter and a link to each episode for your enjoyment. You will find it in your inbox just like all my other articles and messages from the website!

I hope you enjoy it and look forward to making more projects for you all!



Marjorie Taylor Greene Brags That She Would Win January 6th

This overt support for a violent overthrow of the American government is just another sign that Rep. Greene does not belong in Congress.

By House Creative Services –, Public Domain,

Not a day goes by without some insane comment by the Congresswoman from Georgia coming to light. Whether it is her age-old comments about the Twin Towers, the ridiculous QAnon Conspiracy Theory, or the idea that Nancy Pelosi should be executed for treason, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has proven herself to be a consistent voice for the unhinged and unintelligible. But now, it seems as though she has taken it a step further, arguing that they would have been successful if she had been in charge of the January 6th insurrection’s planning.

The disgusting comments come amid the Republicans’ recent success in taking the House, effectively signaling the death of the January 6th committee, something that the Rep. from Georgia has been happy to denounce repeatedly, falsely claiming that the rioters were being unfairly treated.

Such context is critical because it plays into the way Republicans like Greene have played on the January 6th attack and have dealt with the consequences of their election denialism. Rather than examining what the judiciary and multiple investigations have already told them, MAGA Republicans like Greene have instead taken to mocking the investigation and questions raised about their activities before the said riot.

While Greene has claimed that her comments were sarcastic, the fact that she made them at all is indicative of the brazen appeal to violence, both stochastic or otherwise, that remains within Greene’s rhetoric.

This is the same woman who insinuated that Speaker Pelosi had committed treason and should be executed and has posted an image of herself with firearms next to photographs of progressives such as the Squad. Insinuated and explicit violence are a centerpiece of her rhetoric and have remained a part of her persona in politics from the very beginning.

Even her claims of sarcasm should raise eyebrows, as she has previously had to walk back her affiliation with the infamous Neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, who she stumped for and praised mere moments after he praised Adolf Hitler. She later claimed she didn’t know who Fuentes was. Needless to say, I didn’t buy that argument, and I don’t buy this one.

My article on Nick Fuentes and Rep. Greene

All of this absurd and dangerous rhetoric shows that no matter how far Marjorie Taylor Greene has gone in the past, she can always go a step further while accepting none of the consequences.

While it may be comforting to ridicule Greene as a fringe figure, the fact of the matter is that she is still a strong force within the Republican Party. She is currently helping Rep. Kevin McCarthy in his effort to gain the Speakership for 2023 and has a strong campaign finance game. She is not going anywhere. If she continues down this path and is left to her own devices, she will radicalize the GOP beyond anything a reasonable person could imagine.

Kyrsten Sinema Leaves Democratic Party; Good Riddance

The self-described independent and obstructionist has finally shown her true self.

Senator Sinema by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, via Wikimedia Commons

In not-so-shocking news, the infamous obstructionist and thorn in the side of decent Democratic governance, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has announced that she will no longer be a member of the Democratic Party. Instead, Sinema has elected to register as an independent, announcing to the nation that which it already knew; that Kyrsten Sinema was never truly a Democrat.

In a video released explained her decision, saying:

“Registering as an independent and showing up to work with the title of independent is a reflection of who I’ve always been, and it’s a reflection of who Arizona is…We don’t line up to do what we’re told. We do what’s right for our state and for our country.”

Sen. Sinema on her reasons for leaving the Democratic Party

Do what’s right? Forgive the snark, but unless this is some self-parody, Sinema’s faux moralizing about independence is just a slap in the face of the very principles that make democratic governance possible.

She has consistently been a thorn in the side of every major proposal that would improve the lives of her fellow Americans. From voting down a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage to actively opposing an expansion in voting rights as GOP operatives seek to restrict voting rights for Americans in the name of so-called “voter integrity,” Sinema has proven herself to be a fundamentally opportunistic and self-centered politician. Her decision-making is illustrative of her complete unworthiness to hold a position in the Senate.

This is the same woman who didn’t hold a town hall with her constituents in over three years and who has actively taken massive donations from Republican donors. Within the first nine months of Sinema’s fundraising project, she managed to raise an estimated $2.6 million, much of which came from Republican and corporate donors. Some of those same donors had never previously donated to her before, showing that her obstruction was well-rewarded. Between 2019 and 2021, Sinema raised well over $6 million.

The decision by Sinema to change her party affiliation and preach about so-called morality and righteousness is nothing more than a hollow move by Sinema to secure a new framework to justify her corporate-inspired obstructionism.

Nothing about her conduct should suggest a new maverick streak or some supposed non-partisan thought process. Sinema is just as ambitious and selfish as the politicians she claims to oppose, if not more so.

Nobody should be under the delusion that she is somehow going to turn over a new leaf now that the Democrats have increased control of the Senate. If anything, she is almost certainly trying to undermine their position for the sake of her donor base. It is unclear if Sinema will manage to hold onto her seat in 2024, but one thing is for certain, she certainly doesn’t deserve to keep it.